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Mr. Adegbile 20, Collin 19, Faulkner 16, Us 10, Philadelphia 10, Naacp 10, America 8, Russia 8, Navy 8, Mr. Reid 8, United States 6, John Roberts 6, Maureen Faulkner 6, Mr. Grassley 6, Thurgood Marshall 5, John Adams 5, Crimea 4, New York 4, Daniel Faulkner 4, Clayton 4,
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  CSPAN    Key Capitol Hill Hearings    Speeches from policy makers and  
   coverage from around the country.  

    March 5, 2014
    10:00 - 12:01pm EST  

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c-span2. the president pro tempore: the senate will come to order. the chaplain, retired admiral dr. barry black, will lead the senate in prayer. the chaplain: let us pray. holy god, because of your great love, we do not cringe or falter at the challenges our nation faces, for you have never
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forsaken us in our hour of need. lord, give our lawmakers a desire to seek your wisdom and to follow you where you lead. may they claim your promise that no weapon formed against us will prosper. help them to not permit the world to squeeze them into its mold, as they seek to be transformed by your powerful presence. thank you for our many freedoms, and empower us to use them to bless others. we pray in your mighty name. amen.
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the president pro tempore: please join me in reciting the pledge of allegiance to the flag. i pledge allegiance to the flag of the united states of america and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under god, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. mr. reid: mr. president? the president pro tempore: the majority leader. mr. reid: i move to proceed to calendar number 309, the child care and development block grant. the president pro tempore: the clerk will report. the clerk: motion to proceed to calendar number 309, s. 1086, a bill to reauthorize and improve the child care and development block grant act of 1990 and for other purposes. mr. reid: mr. president? the president pro tempore: the senator from -- mr. reid: because of the inclement weather, we've had to rearrange things. senator mcconnell and i have been directing our staff to help us get through what we need to do. we should be able to finish this week's work tomorrow, but that's
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not an assured thing. so we're going to be working throughout the day to move afforforward as quickly as we c. everyone should be atwhair we could have -- aware that we could have some votes into the evening tonight and tomorrow, and we may have to be in here on friday. following my remarks and those of the republican leader, the senate will proceed to executive session, with the time until 11:45 controlled and divided equally. at 11:45 there will be up to three roll call votes. expect to recess following those votes to allow for weekly caucus meetings and work through the remaining nominations this afternoon. senators will be notified when the votes are scheduled. i would note the absence of a quorum. the president pro tempore: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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mr. mcconnell: mr. president? the presiding officer: the republican leader. mr. mcconnell: the department of justice and this administration has too often put politics ahead of the law -- the presiding officer: the senate is still in a roll call. mr. mcconnell: i suggest that the quorum call be dispensed with. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: thank the chair. the department of justice and -- in this administration has too often put politics ahead of the law. the record of the nominee before us to head the civil rights division strongly, strongly indicates that if he were confirmed, the politicization of the justice department would increase even further. hhe has a long record of left-wing advocacy marked by ideologically driven positions and very, very poor judgment. in the district of columbia v. heller, he argued in the supreme court that it would be -- quote -- "radical" -- end quote -- to
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recognize "an individual right to keep and bear amplest" before the supreme court he repeatedly described the principle of individual liberty protected by the second amendment as a radical proposition. it was the position advocated by the nominee, however, that the supreme court rule was woefully at odds with the constitution and individual liberty. he also called the requirement to present identification before voting a -- quote -- "modern poll tax" -- end quote. americans strongly support this basic safeguard for the integrity of our elections, and it's been endorsed by liberal democrats such as president carter. not surprisingly, in crawford v. marion county, the supreme court rejected that as well. he took the position in the supreme court that a church did not have the first amendment
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right to hire or fire individuals who were responsible for conveying the church's message and implementing its mission. the position the nominee advocated would greatly fringe on the free exercise rights of religious institutions. the supreme court rejected his views there, too, this time 9-0. 9-0. but it is his advocacy on behalf of the nation's most notorious cop killer that most calls into question his fitness for the powerful government position he seeks. back in december of 1981, 25-year-old officer daniel faulkner was conducting a routine traffic stop when wesley cook, also known as mumia abu-jamal, shot him in the back. he then stood over officer faulkner and shot him several more times in the chest. as officer faulkner lay dying in the streets defensely, abu-jamal
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shot him in the face, killing him. at the hornghts abu-jamal brag -- at the hospital, abu-jamal bragged that he had shot officer faulkner and expressed his hope that he would die. at trial, he was remorseless. he interrupted the proceedings and insulted the judge and even smirked at officer faulkner's widow when the bloodstained shirt was held up in court as evidence. four eyewitnesses saw abu-jamal gun down officer faulkner, four eyewitnesses. three more witnesses at the hospital heard him confess to the crime. ballistics evidence approved that officer faulkner had been shot with a handgun registered to abu-jamal, which was found at the scene of the murder along with the shell casings. based on this overwhelming evidence, abu-jamal was tried, convicted, and sentenced to death. what followed was a 30-year effort by the far left to
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glorify abu-jamal and to exonerate him. this effort was taken up by law professors, left-wing activistes, and in 2009 by the organization which the nominee before us led for several years -- the naacp legal defense fund. when the legal defense fund became abu-jamal's cocounsel in 2011, they called him a symbol of racial injustice. it said, abu-jamal's conviction and death sentence are religionics of a time and -- and relicarereligionics of a time ae -- of relics of a time and place of discrimination. an l.d.f. lawyer attende attendd rallies for abu-jamal. she said it was absolutely an
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honor to do so. she said, floss qui in the mind of -- there is no question in the mind of anyone at l.d.f. that the justice system has totally failed abu-jamal. this demagoguery of the murder of a defenseless police officer has shocked and offended law enforcement officers from across the country. the current district attorney of philadelphia, seth williams says, "apart from being patently false, moreover, these chambers are personally insulting to me. as an african-american, i know all too well the grievous consequences of racial discrimination and prejudice. i also know that abu-jamal was convicted and sentenced because of the evidence -- because of the evidence, not because of his race. i've continued to fight for the jury's verdict because it was the justice result." district attorney williams notes
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that, "given all the cases in which the legal defense fund could be involved, it was telling that the nominee would go out of his way to inject himself and his organization into this one." the vision to chaf champion the caution of a cop killer sends a message of contempt to police officer. the national fraternal order of police wrote president obama to express its vehement opposition to the nomination. the f.o.p. wrote that, as word of this nomination spreads through the law enforcement community, reactions range from anger to incredulity understand that i -- understand that it ane interpreted only one way: it is a thumb in the eye of our nation's law enforcement officers. the kentucky law enforcement officers association wrote m mea powerful letter. they note that the thought that the nominee would be rewarded in part for the work he did for officer faulkner's killer is
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revolting. mr. president, the nominee has acknowledged that, as the director of litigation for the legal defense fund, he supervised its entire legal staff. according to l.d.f.'s owning web -- own web sierkts the director is responsible for coordinating the selection of cases the l.d.f. chooses to get involved in. he manages all aspects of the legal doclegal docket. he overseas all aspects of the appellate work and amicus briefing. as director of litigation, he is responsible for advocacy both in the courts of law and in the court of public opinion. so let me repeat, he is responsible for advocacy, both in the courts of law and in the court of public opinion. as head of the civil rights division, the nominee now would be responsible for fulfilling the division's mission of upholding the civil and
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constitutional rights of all individuals, and he would have powerful resources at his disposal as well as the discretion to determine how and on whose behalf it use them. as the junior senator from pennsylvania has noted, the head of the civil rights division must have an absolute commitment to justice. while there are many highly qualified americans who could carry out this critical mission, the nominee tion record creates serious -- the nominee's record creates serious doubts that he is one of thes them. the senior senator from pennsylvania also opposes this nominee. mr. president, i could not say it any better. everyone deserves a fair trial and a zealous legal defense, and lawyers aren't personally responsible for the actions of their clients. but lawyers are responsible for their own actions. in this case, the nominee inserted his office in an effort to turn relat reality on its he, impugn honorable and selfless
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law enforcement spherk officersd glorify an unrepentant cop killer. this is not required by our legal system. it is noxious to it. i will therefore oppose the nomination and strongly urge my colleagues to do so as well. finally, i'd like to note the manner in which this nomination may come to an up-or-down vote. last fall the majority chose to break the rules of the senate in order to change the rules of the senate. in so doing, they violated the right of the minority under the rules to require extended debate on controversial nominees to powerful federal positions. this serious breech of the rules is an ongoing violation, and it is highlighted again today by the majority's effort to muscle through the current nominee under a procedure they came up with in the majority leader's conference room, not through the rules committee and the regular order, as was promised. members of the majority who voted for this heavy-handed
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procedure last fall will be responsible for the nominee's confirmation today. if that occurs, regardless of how they vote on the nomination itself, they should not be heard to complain that the nomination's process is not as productive as it was just a few months ago. before they threw caution to the wind and violated our rights under the standing rules of the senate. now, mr. president, on another matter, last week's military intervention by russian forces into crimea makes clear president putin inspends to maintain the russian's sphere of
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influence there and at a cost to his country. that is why leadership in washington and its allies will be of such critical importance in ukraine. according to the budapest agreement, russia has an obligation to respect the sovereignty of its neighbor and the west should stand united in holding president putin to that agreement. the united states, nato, and the e.u. should also work together to support the interim government in kiev by supporting free and fair elections, and members of congress are already discussing loan guarantees and additional sanctions against russia. but if there's one thing russia's military intervention into crimea also makes absolutely clear despite the the best hope of some, is this. the foundation of the international system is governed by force, capability and interest. let me say that again. the foundation of the international system is governed by force, capability, and interest.
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that's the reality we should be guided by in approaching this conflict, and it's a reality we should be guided by when it comes to american power more generally. as i've argued before, this president has eroded american credibility in the world. it starts with the arbitrary deadlines for military withdrawal and the triumph and declaration that guantanamo would be closed within a year without any plan for what to do with its detainees. there were the executive orders that ended the central intelligence agency's detention and interrogation program. we also wee all saw the so-called reset with russia and how the president's stated commitment to a world without nuclear weapons led him to hastily sign an arms treaty with russia that did nothing to subsubstantially reduce its nuclear stock pipe or nuclear weapons. we saw the president denunes the strategic -- denounce the
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strategic topic of the asia pacific without any idea how to fund it. after a decade long counter insurgency in afghanistan, we've seen the president's fail thraour to address the kind of -- failure to address the kind of strategic modernization needed to make strategic asia meaningful specifically to make the investments needed to maintain our dominance in the asia pacific theater and the kind of be naval, air and marine forces we need there could have tragic consequences down the road. whether it is resources the obama administration knew for years about potential russian violations of the treaty that regulates medium-range missiles or whether it's russia refusal to negotiate a reduction in tactical nuclear weapons, its shipment of arms to the syrian government or its invasion of crimea, we can now put to rest for good any notion that the
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relationship with russia has been reset. president putin sees himself as the authoritarian ruler of a great power and one who is determined to preserve his regime. and that's how we should understand him. invading crimea, he clearly concluded that protecting russia's sphere of influence there was worth the risk of russian lives. and of any response on the part of the united states and europe. we and our allies pay a price when our capabilities diminish. that why i continually advocated for investments in the modernization of our forces, premiering commitments to capabilities. we remain a member of nato and have treaty committeements to our fell -- commitments to fellow members. china has a policy of coercing neighbors and exploiting territorial disputes.
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american military might is the backbone of international order but when we diminish our capabilities we must understand regional powers will fill the void. our president is still the leader of the free world. we'll support him however we can to ensure a satisfactory outcome for the ukrainian people and to prevent this conflict from escalating into a wider war. the ukrainians deserve our support, but this is a moment when president obama is going to have to lead. now finally, mr. president, on an entirely different matter, i want to speak in tribute to a
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brave kentuckian who has given his life in service to his country. chief petty officer colin thomas, a highly distinguished and decorated navy seal, was killed in his final mission on august 18, 2010, in eastern afghanistan in direct combat with the enemy. in his final act, he killed the taliban fighter who had shot him and other members of its team, thus, saving his teammates. for these acts of valor, he received a silver star medal. he was 33 years old. chief petty officer thomas held a rating of chief special warfare operator, was a navy seal for ten years, and served in the navy for 13. in that time, he received many awards, medals and decorations, including the silver star medal for the actions i have just described, three pwopbz --
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bronze star medals with combat v distinguishing device, a purple heart, defense meritorious service medal, two joint service commendation medals with combat v distinguishing device, a navy and marine corps commendation medal, six navy and marine corps achievement medals, two combat action ribbons, four boot conduct medals, a national defense service medal. afghanistan campaign medals with two campaign stars, the iraq campaign medal, marksmanship medals with expert service device for both rifle and pistol, and a multitude of personal unit and campaign awards. on september 11, 2001, collin thomas' cousin, navy first class edmond earhart was the first identified military casualty of
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the terrorist attack that struck the pentagon. sadly this was not the first time terrorism had directly struck collin's family. his uncle, major john mcroulou was the senior marine killed in the beirut barracks bombing in 1983. then a navy seal for little over a year, collin made a vow to make amends for the death he his uncle and cousin. collin's father clayton said when asked by his grandfather why he continued to be a seal, collin would say he was going to be the one to capture or kill bin laden. collin was born in san diego, and by high school he had lived in seven states and two countries. but he always considered himself
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a kentuckian. after his father's retirement from the u.s. marine corps, the thomas family settled in morehead, where collin attended brown county senior high school, he ran track and played varsity football. collin enjoyed camping and hunting. he liked to shoot and was good at it. his grandmother would prepare squirrel gravy from the spoils of collin's hunting expeditions reluctantly because as much as she wanted to celebrate her grandson's marksmanship, squirrel was not a favorite delicacy in her household. a story from collin's high school years demonstrates that the motivation to help others that was the driving force behind his navy seal career was present at a young age. at age 14, collin stood up for some younger children to bull list on the school bus.
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he -- bullies on the school bus. he didn't know these children but knew they were being denied a bus seat to older children. he gave them a seat and told the bullies they would have to answer to him if he saw them bullying again. the character and sense of fairness he demonstrated taking on bullies he did not know to protect others would be repeated throughout his life. collin was very driven and focused from a young age on his life's goal: becoming a navy seal. he began his own official training at age 15 after talking with a navy master chief at the naval academy who gave him an idea of the physical, academic and psychological training collin would need to follow his dream. by the time he received his driver's license, -- the time he received his driver's license, collin had also completed his scuba open-water dive
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certification. collin graduated from high school in 1995 at morehead state university, he took every rotc class available. the summer after his first year of college collin was selected for basic airborne training by his rotc commander. he met many active navy duty navy seals it there and was convinced he was ready. he enlisted in 1997 and his oath was administered by his father, a retired marine lieutenant colonel. collin completed basic training, was an honor graduate and trained in basic underwater demolition. he was then assigned to a seal team to develop his skills as a special warfare operator. he became a seal on june 9, 2000, and was sent on his first deployment to south america. chief petty officer thomas was a
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highly skilled and capable seal, and his constant training took him around the world. he became certified as a paramedic and a lead climber, able to scale near vertical cliffs. he was a master parachutist, specializing in nighttime high-altitude operations. he mastered underwater diving and was able to stay under water for over four hours. he won interunit shooting competitions with long barrel and short barrel weapons. he excelled at snow skiing and succeed the most difficult -- skied the most difficult airdrop courses in south america, europe and america. in april 2010, collin achieved a lifetime goal when he and two of his seal teammates climbed mount kilimanjaro in tanzania, highest free-standing mountain in the world at 19,341 feet above sea level. they made most of the climb in
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speedy time, near the summit, however, collin encountered two women from california who were ill from altitude sickness. against his guide's advice, collin stopped to give them medical attention delaying his final assent. somehow one of the women found out collin had been killed and she sent a letter telling the family how kind he had been to them and she felt he had saved their lives. collin's father clayton recalled that story. once again the same young man who stood up to bullies on the school bus set his own interests aside to save others. collin was buried with full military honors in round county, kentucky. we're thinking of collin's loved ones including his parents clayton and paul la, his sister meggen, his fiancee and many other family and friends.
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to his father clayton i say semper fidelis, your son was always faithful. one of collin's senior officers engaged in many highly sensitive and consequential missions was unable to give his name for atreub buse on the senate floor, however he was able to say these words about collin which i will share with you. collin thomas was a behave american patriot, an incredibly gifted navy seal, this unnamed officer says. his tireless professionalism inspired passion for life and humble demeanor made him a role model for all who knew him. we're deeply saddened by this tremendous loss of a brother in arms. mr. president, i know my colleagues share these sentiments and we mourn the loss of chief petty officer collin t. thomas. we extend our deepest condolences to his family. no words spoken in the chamber
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can take away the sadness and loss collin's family must feel but i want them to know this nation and this united states senate are deeply grateful for chief petty officer collin t. thomas' service and sacrifice. mr. president, i yield the floor. the presiding officer: under the previous order, the leadership time is reserved. under the previous order, the senate will proceed to executive session to consider the following nomination, which the clerk will report. the clerk: nomination, department of justice, debo adegbile of new york to be an assistant attorney general. the presiding officer: under the previous order, the time until 11:45 a.m. will be equally divided between the senator from vermont and the senator from iowa, or their designees. mr. grassley: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from iowa.
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mr. grassley: like my republican leader, i come to the floor to share my concerns about mr. adegbile's nomination, and so i'll explain my voting "no" today. i want to begin by saying that i believe the nominee possesses high moral characteristic and personal integrity. i have met him, and i'm also aware that he has been working on the chairman's staff of the judiciary committee for the last few months. unfortunately, i've reached the conclusion that this nominee isn't the right pick to lead the civil rights division. first of all, it's no secret that i believe that the last individual to lead this office, the current secretary of labor, was very political and extremely committed to a host of political
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causes. of course, i don't expect president obama to nominate conservatives to his political appointments. but as we all know, these are very important jobs, very powerful jobs. the individual who holds them wields a tremendous amount of power on behalf of the department of justice. so i expect the president's nominees to be liberal, maybe even very liberal, and in the vast majority of cases, the president is entitled to have people of his own choosing serving in these important positions. but the senate must provide its advice and consent, and that's what we're doing today. and, in my view, the president's nominees can't be so committed to political causes and so devoted to political ideology that it clouds his or her
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judgment. this is particularly important here, given that this office under the leadership of the last assistant attorney general was marked by controversy. and those controversies, in my view, were directly linked to that individual's deep commitment to a host of liberal causes regardless of how well-held they were. at the end of the day, i believe that that clouded his judgment. with that brief bit of background, i'd first note that there is bipartisan opposition to this nomination, and as i'll discuss in a few minutes, there's also widespread opposition from the law enforcement community. seth williams, a democrat and
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philadelphia district attorney, opposes this nomination. many of the largest national law enforcement organizations, including the fraternal order of police and the national association of police organizations, vigorously oppose this nomination as well. this opposition is based upon the nominee's record, and the nominee's record, in my view, demonstrates the nominee has a long history of advocating legal positions far outside the mainstream. i believe it's a record that demonstrates he is simile too deeply -- simply too deep committed to these causes to be effective and fair -- to be an effective and fair leader of this very important civil rights division of the department of justice. i'm not going to mention every aspect of the nominee's record that i find troubling, but a few will be mentioned.
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his record on first amendment issues should give us all pause. for example, in ho in the hosana taber case before the supreme court, he advocated on behalf of the free exercise of rights. he argued that a church didn't have the right to freely hire or fire individuals who are responsible for conveying the church's message and carrying out its religious mission. this is at the core of what religious freedom means under our constitution. in fact, the nominee's views -- his view was a dramatic departure from established first amendment jurisprudence. in fact, it was so outside the mainstream, tha that the supreme
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court unanimously rejected it 9-0. likewise, the nominee's views on the second amendment to our federal constitution is out of step with the law. in heller, he argued -- quote -- "the second amendment does not protect an individual's right to keep and bear arms for purely private purposes" -- end of quote. he also argues that -- quote -- "the rights protected by the second amendment is one that exists only in the context of a lawfully organized militia" -- end of quote. the supreme court, of course, rejected that view, as we all know, and the supreme court's decision very much strengthened the right of individuals to bear arms and not just limited to militia. i've also been disappointed by the answers the nominee provided to a number of my questions.
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for example, i've asked whether he believed that voter i.d. requirements, which had been upheld by the supreme court in the crawford case, are the modern-day equivalent of a poll tax. he asked this question for several reasons. first of all, according to press reports, this nominee said as much in 2005 during a discussion in georgia regarding voter i.d. laws. according to press reports, he found -- he called voter i.d. cards -- quote -- "a modern poll tax" -- end of quote. this answer, of course, because poll taxes are unconstitutional. but the supreme court upheld indiana's voter i.d. law as constitutional in this crawford case in 2008. so if the nominee continues to believe voter i.d. laws are the
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modern-day equivalent of the poll tax and is firm committed to ar that principle, i'm conced -- you ought to be concerned -- that he'd look for creating ways to undermine and challenge those laws, notwithstanding the crawford case upholding indiana's voter i.d. law. it goes without saying, of course, that a significant part of this job is the enforcement of voting rights laws, and that enforcement power should be entrusted only to someone who we're confident will apply the law in an evenhanded way and, obviously, uphold when the supreme court has already said was constitutional. i've also repeatedly asked the nominee whether, if confirmed, he'd commit to implementing the recommendations made by the department of justice inspector general regarding the hiring processes in the civil rights
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division. that i.g. report exposed a hiring process in that division that was structured in a way that systematically screened out conservative applicants. so evidently only one point of view is welcome in that division. but the nominee won't commit to implementing the recommendations that the i.g. report has put o out, and that was addressed -- those issues -- so the office has the benefit of an ideologically diverse group of lawyers. that concerns me, and it ought to concern my colleagues. again, this is a division in the department of justice that needs a clean break from the political partisanship that plagued the office under the last assistant attorney general. finally, i'd like to address the
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nominee's involvement in and representation of mumia abu-jamal. to understand why the nominee's involvement in this case is so concerning to many of us, a bit of history is in order. mr. abu-jamal is this country's most notorious cop killer. the facts of the abu-jamal case are well-known and cannot be seriously disputed. back in december of 1981, abu-jamal, then known as wesley cook, gunned down philadelphia police officer daniel faulkner. abu-jamal first shot officer faulkner in the back and then several more times in his chest at close range. as officer faulkner lay dying in the street, abu-jamal stood over
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him and shot him in the face. at the hospital a short while later, abu-jamal actually boasted that he had shot a police officer and said he hoped the police officer would diement. die. -- would die. ballistic evidence approved that the officer had been shot with a .38-caliber revolver that was registered to abu-jamal and that was found at the scene along with spent shell casings. no serious observer of this case can question the overwhelming evidence of his guilt. based on that evidence, he was tried. a jury, including white and african-american jurors, convicted him and sentenced him to death. nonetheless, over the course of the next 25 years, opponents of
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capital punishment and other critics of our justice system have elevated mr. abu-jamal to celebrity status. those critics have charged that the conviction was tainted by racial discrimination. they've slandered police officers and prosecutors, and they've leveled accusations of police abuse. they've even organized rallies that portrayed this murderer as the victim. amazingly, mr. abu-jamal's campaign has been somewhat successful. he has actually convinced a lot of people that he is a political prisoner, if you can imagine that. and his fame wasn't confined to the borders of this country. the french went so far as to name a street after him in the suburbs of paris. in fact, it became such a high-profile issue that in 2006,
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the house of representatives overwhelmingly passed a bipartisan resolution 368-31 condemning the murder of officer faulkner and urging the french town to change the name of its street. and i must say, the disgust with mr. abu-jamal's celebrity status isn't defined by partisanship. in fact, five of today's senate democrats were in the house of representatives in 2006 when that resolution was passed. four of those five voted in favor of that resolution, rejecting the political celebrity of a murderer. in short, this case is about much more than hyper technical legal challenges to the imposition of the death penalty. it has become, quite plainly, a cause. so it's with that background that i'd like to discuss the
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nominee's involvement in that matter. in 2009, mr. abu-jamal -- mr. adegbile was litigator of the legal defense fund. he worked as an advocate on behalf of mr. abu-jamal. the l.d.f. first got involved when they volunteered as an amucous and then later -- amicus and then later in the post-conviction proceedings. in this first phase, the legal defense fund that the philadelphia prosecutor -- or they alleged -- the l.d.f. alleged that the philadelphia prosecutors discriminated against african-american jurors in the jury selection process during the trial. after the third circuit rejected that act, the nominee submitted an amicus brief to the united
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states supreme court urging the court to take the case and hear the same arguments. well, thankfully the court declined to hear that case. after this effort failed in 2011, the legal defense fund signed on as abu-jamal's lead counsel for his post conviction challenges. it was at this point that the nominee again challenged the conviction in the third circuit, but this time under a different theory. the nominee argued that the jury instructions were constitutionally infirm. the third circuit agreed, and the supreme court refused to hear further argument. now keep in mind that abu-jamal has never run the risk of lacking adequate legal counsel. highly motivated attorneys, highly motivated law professors and legions of activists have
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represented him for years. they filed literally hundreds of motions and briefs on his behalf. so this isn't a case of the nominee and the legal defense fund intervening to vindicate the rights of an indigent defendant who has been denied due process, nor is this case of a lawyer stepping in to defend an unpopular client who couldn't otherwise find a lawyer. abu-jamal has enjoyed the zealous representation of some of the country's best lawyers for almost three decades. in short, this is not john adams defending the british soldiers after the boston massacre. that's not what's happening here. the first attempt to challenge the conviction was unsuccessful, so the nominee and the legal defense fund redoubled their efforts and mounted a second challenge under a different
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theory. this was a cause in search of a legal justification. and we know this, of course, because the statements and press releases the legal defense fund made at the time confirmed the understanding that this was a cause. the nominee's colleagues and counsels explained the legal defense fund's motivations for getting involved in this case at a rally for abu-jamal in 2011. this leader of the legal defense fund said -- quote -- "there is no question in my mind of anyone at the legal defense fund that the justice system has completely and utterly failed mumia abu-jamal and, in our view, that has everything to do with race. and that is why the legal
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defense fund is in this case." in fact, when the legal defense fund signed on as lead counsel in 2011, their press release declared -- quote -- "abu-jamal's conviction and death sentence are relics of a time and place that was notorious for police abuse and racial discrimination." end of quote. again, this is in fact a cause. it was a cause premised on the notion that this country's most notorious cop killer, mumia abu-jamal, was a victim rather than being a murderer. and the police officers and prosecutors and the entire judicial system were to blame. not the person who did the killing. at bottom, this is why the law enforcement community is so
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staunchly opposed to this nomination. that is why the fraternal order of police call this nomination a -- quote -- "thumb in the eye of our nation's law enforcement officers." end quote. that is why the philadelphia district attorney seth williams wrote this in her list of opposition -- in his letter of opposition -- quote -- "despite the overwhelming evidence of guilt, his lawyers have consistently attempted to turn reality on its head, arguing that abu-jamal was framed and that it was he, rather than officer faulkner, who was the victim of racism." end of quote. district attorney williams went on to say that -- quote -- "aside from being patently false, moreover these claims are personally insulting to me. as an african-american, i know
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all too well the grievous consequences of racial discrimination and prejudice. i also know that abu-jamal was convicted and sentenced because of the evidence, not because of his race." end of quote from district attorney williams. and finally, that's why marine faulkner, whose husband was murdered by abu-jamal, wrote two letters to our judiciary committee. that is why she wrote this -- quote -- "officers who knew danny" -- that would be her husband. "officers who knew danny and who liked him put their lives on the line every day must now witness this abu-jamal, a man proud to have chosen to aid the murder of their friend, singled out for honors and high office by the government of the united states. it's an abomination to now
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reward debo adegbile as if he had done something wonderful." end of quote. so to my colleagues and to the president of this body, for reasons i've outlined here, i can't support this nomination. i just don't believe he is the right nominee to lead this office at this time. i will oppose his -- this nominee and i urge my colleagues to do the same. and i reserve the balance of my time. i would suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. mr. grassley: i want to suggest to the president, i may have something that we want to divide the time evenly when we're in a quorum call. but i can't ask that question yet. so i ask for a quorum call. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll.
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quorum call: the presiding officer: the senator from iowa. mr. grassley: i ask that the quorum call be suspended. the presiding officer: without objection. grass i ask unanimous consent that the time spent -- mr. grassley: i ask unanimous consent that the time spent in quorum calls this morning be divided equally between the two sides. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. grassley: i ask that a quorum be called. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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mr. toomey: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from pennsylvania. mr. toomey: madam president, i ask unanimous consent that the quorum call be vitiated. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. toomey: thank you, madam president. madam president, i rise this morning to speak on the nomination of debo adegbile as the candidate to serve as the director of the civil rights division of the justice
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department. he would be an assistant attorney general in the justice department if he were to be confirmed. it was 3:55 a.m. on december 9, 1981, when 25-year-old philadelphia police officer danny faulkner was brutally murdered in the line of duty. just a few weeks ago, officer faulkner's widow, maureen faulkner, pleaded with the senate judiciary committee to listen to her story, and it is a heartbreaking story. it is a story of how 32-year-old a coldblooded killer murdered her husband and how political opportunists then seized the chance to deny her justice and propagate a very pernicious set of lies. it's also a story about how president obama's current nominee to head the justice department's civil rights division, this gentleman, debo adegbile, joined in this gross
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abuse of our legal system. unfortunately, our colleagues on the senate judiciary committee, our democratic colleagues, did not allow maureen faulkner to testified when the committee was considering this nominee. madam president, i think maureen faulkner deserves to be heard. i think she has a right to be heard. we've heard a lot of voices and a lot of arguments in this discussion. i think maureen faulkner's voice deserves to be heard. and since she was not permitted to testify before the committee, i'm going to read to my colleagues here in the senate the letter that she sent to all of us. and i'll begin now. maureen faulkner writes, "dear senators, while i would have preferred to do so personally, i'm writing this letter appealing to your sense of right and wrong, good and evil as you consider the nomination of debo adegbile to be the next head of the civil rights division of the department of justice. 33 years ago my husband,
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philadelphia police officer daniel faulkner, was violently murdered by a self-professed revolutionary named mumia abu-jamal. i was 24 years old. while most of my friends spent their summer at the jersey shore, i sat in a hot, steamy courtroom and watched in horror and disbelief as the man who murdered my husband tried to turn the courtroom into a political stage where he could spew his hatred and contempt for this country and our judicial system. at the moment my husband's blood-stained shirt was displayed by the evidence handler, mumia abu-jamal turned in his chair and smirked at me demonstrating his contempt for law enforcement. thankfully a racially mixed jury that was selected by abu-jamal while representing himself found him guilty. the following day they sentenced him to death for the brutal act he had committed. that's when my second nightmare began.
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for three decades my family and i endured appeal after appeal, each rooted in lies, distortions and allegations of civil rights violations. and year after year, judge after judge, the conviction and sentence were unanimously upheld. then 30 years after the fact my family, society and i were denied justice when three federal district court judges who have found error in every capital case that has come before them overturned the death sentence. today as my husband lies 33 years in the grave, his killer has become a wealthy celebrity. he pens books and social commentaries critical of our country. he regularly uses his nearly unlimited access to the prison telephone to do radio programs, has cable tv in his cell and is permitted to hold his wife, children and grandchildren in his arms when they visit. old wounds have once again been
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ripped open, and additional insult is brought upon our law enforcement community in this country by president obama's nomination of debo adegbile. while publicly demonstrating that he doesn't even know my husband's name, mr. adegbile feigned sympathy and caring for my family and me. in reality, mr. adegbile was a willing and enthusiastic accomplice in mumia abu-jamal's bid to cheat us of the justice we had waited for for so many years. mr. adegbile freely chose to throw the weight of his organization behind mumia abu-jamal, and he has publicly stated that he would get mumia abu-jamal off death row. mr. adegbile holds mumia abu-jamal, a remorseless, unrepentant cop killer, in high esteem. we know this because attorneys working under mr. adegbile's supervision stood before public
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rallies held in support of my husband's killer and openly professed that it was a -- quote -- "extreme honor" to represent the man who put a hollow-based bullet into my husband's brain as he lay on the ground wounded, unarmed and defenseless. and while mr. adegbile and those who support his nomination will undoubtedly argue that he did not personally make such statements, he did nothing to counter or stop them. in the end, like so many attorneys before him, mr. adegbile's allegations of civil rights abuse rang hollow. mumia abu-jamal's death sentence was overturned not because of civil rights abuse as alleged by mr. adegbile, but because three judges with a personal dislike for capital punishment conveniently determined that the wording in the standard form given to a jury might have confused them. while debo adegbile may be a well-qualified and competent
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litigator, through his words, his decisions and his actions, he has clearly and repeatedly demonstrated that he is not the best person to fill this important position. certainly there are others with similar qualifications that would be better choices. i would argue that mr. adegbile's decision to defend a cop killer should preclude him from holding any public position. your decision means a lot to me personally. the thought that mr. adegbile would be rewarded for the work he did is repulsive. i have been thought to be a racist by many simply because he is black and i am white. i have been asked to throw my name behind political candidates in both parties. in each case i have declined. i have always believed my husband's death and my quest for justice transcends politics and
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race. from my heart, i'm asking you to do the same thing. set aside any partisan feelings you have and do the right thing today when you vote on mr. adegbile's confirmation. please spare my family and me from further pain. sincerely, maureen faulkner." to conclude, mr. president, i skwrufrt would add -- i just would add the justice department's web site explains the civil right division -- and i quote -- "fulfills a critical mission in upholding the civil and constitutional rights of all individuals. this requires that the head of the civil rights division have an absolute commitment to truth and justice. there are many highly qualified americans who can carry out this critical mission -- and it is a critical mission. mr. adegbile's record and what he actually has done creates serious doubts that he's one of
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them. for these reasons, i urge my colleagues to vote against cloture on the nomination of mr. adegbile to serve as assistant attorney general for the justice department civil rights divisions. and i note the absence of a quorum. the president pro tempore: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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mr. durbin: mr. president? the presiding officer: the assistant majority leader. mr. durbin: i ask unanimous consent the quorum call be suspended. debo adegbile has life experience and knowledge sufficient to be an excellent assistant attorney general. what an american story we find in his life. the son of nigerian and irish immigrants, worked his way up from poverty, including periods
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of homelessness and reliance on welfare to the top of the legal profession. graduated from connecticut college, n.y.u. law school, spent the early years of his career at one of the most highly regarded law firms of new york. then he decided to start working at the naacp legal defense fund. ultimately becoming the organization's acting president and director counsel. for those who don't know the naacp legal defense fund, i would commend to them a book, "the devil in the grove." it is a pulitzer prize winning story of the work of thurgood marshall in the 1940's and 1950's when the naacp legal defense fund was literally the only voice for those who were poor and black in america. time and again thurgood marshall would journey to parts of america and risk his life to defend someone accused of a crime. they were the only ones who would stand up and speak for the
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poor and those who were in minority status. well, mr. adegbile joined the naacp legal defense fund, and during his 20-year career he's gained experience and perspective on a wide range of issues, certainly qualifying him for this job at the civil rights division. he has widespread enthusiastic support from a broad spectrum of civil rights groups, law enforcement organizations, police officers, prosecutors, business leaders, government officials and prominent members of both political parties. he has twice been called ton defend the constitution -- to defend the constitutionality of the voting rights act in oral arguments before the united states supreme court. in the year 2013, he was the only -- only -- african-american attorney to argue before the supreme court. there is no question about his competence. he led the naacp legal defense and education fund's legislative outreach and public education efforts on the voting rights reauthorization act of 2006,
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which was passed by a unanimous 98-0 vote in the senate, 390-33 in the house. he's represented minorities in case after case involving employment discrimination. he led the opposition -- pardon me. he led the efforts to repeal proposition 36 initiative, california's overly punitive three strikes law, and it passed with 70% of the vote of californians. while he was in private practice he successfully represented pro bono clients. his is an extraordinary legal resume. as these select career highlights demonstrate he is an effective advocate who could lead this civil rights division. tkoepblt take my word -- don't take my word for it though. the bush administration solicitor general quoted i've litigated with and against debo and heard him argue in the supreme court. i've always found him to be a formidable advocate of the highest intellect, skills and
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integrity. mr. adegbile's representation of mumia abu-jamal does not mean that he lacks respect for the rule of law. and it certainly should not disqualify him for this important civil rights job. in fact, his willingness to represent an unpopular defendant in an emotionally charged case demonstrates his appreciation for the rule of law as well as his respect for the criminal justice system. his critics attempted to characterize him as someone who actively sought out this case, someone who disparched the officer -- disparaged the officer cut down in the line of duty, officer tpaubg tpherbgs -- faulkner and someone responsible for overturning abu-jamal's death term. this is unfair. the naacp legal defense fund was not involved in the abu-jamal case until 2006, nearly 25 years after the trial of this individual and his conviction, and five years after the death
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sentence was overturned. being converted to life prison. l.d.f. president, not mr. adegbile, made the decision for the organization to be involved in the case. moreover, as mr. adegbile stated the briefs he signed made no negative comments about the tragic loss of officer faulkner. i see the chairman of the committee is here, and i know our time is short. let me just say this -- time and again in the history of the united states, people have stood up, understanding the constitution and the responsibility of the bar to represent unpopular defendants. john adams set the standard when he made the unpopular decision to represent british soldiers on the eve of the revolutionary war. the senate recalled that example in 2003 when it confirmed john roberts to the d.c. circuit. at the time, not one single senator raised a concern about then-judge roberts providing pro
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bono representation to a man who had been convicted of killing eight people and was awaiting execution on florida's death row. what john roberts did, now chief justice of the supreme court, was entirely consistent with our constitution and the responsibility of those of us in the legal profession. i would say at this point we have an extraordinary man with an extraordinary background who has offered his services to this government in an important division where he can serve in a capacity that few can match. the full scope of his life experience and his distinguished record make him well qualified, and i will support his nomination. mr. leahy: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from vermont. mr. leahy: madam president, i so strongly concur with the statement of the senior senator from illinois, the deputy majority leader. it is similar to statements he has made not only here but in private and public. he has been one of mr. adegbile's strongest
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supporters throughout this matter. both he and i know this nominee well. we know he is qualified to be the assistant attorney general for civil rights in the department of justice. more than that, we know debo patrick adegbile as a real person and not the caricature we have heard by some on the other side. i think all of us have a responsibility to vote yes or no on any issue, but at least to deal with the facts as they are, not with facts and distortions like some of the ones we have heard about this wonderful person, a person we know as a man of the highest character and the utmost integrity. he's the kind of proven leader we need at the civil rights division. he's a superb lawyer to begin with. he has a compelling personal
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story of triumph over adversity. he's a son of immigrants from ireland and nigeria. he was born in the bronx. he grew up in poverty amidst periods of homelessness, but he overcame all these obstacles to attend connecticut college and the new york university school of law and then litigated for seven years at one of the nation's top law firms, picked because he was the best of the best of the best. he then served as legal director of the naacp legal defense educational fund, the l.d.f. this was a civil rights organization founded nearly 70 years ago by the great thurgood marshall who founded it because they needed people to stand up for americans and to give them the constitutional rights that they have to have fair and honest and competent -- and
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competent legal representation. during his time there, he argued two landmark cases of voting rights for the united states supreme court. the nominee is widely regarded as an expert in civil rights law. he has received an outpouring of support from the civil rights community. some of the people who support him. the chairman of the chief executive of american express have been continually impressed by his skills and professionalism as well as his commitment to upholding civil rights. the national organization of black law enforcement executives gave its unwavering support to him. we have had letters of support from detective terrance daniels, retired member of the new york city police department, new york state attorney general, several district attorneys and several prosecutors. paul clement, solicitor general under george w. bush said i have always found him to be of the
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highest intellect, skills and integrity. i would ask unanimous consent that the whole list of letters be made part of the record. madam president, i have been privileged to be both in civil practice where i have defended people and eight years as a prosecutor. i stand behind nobody in my support of law enforcement. i was picked as one of the three outstanding prosecutors in this country when i was -- when i was a prosecutor. but i believed throughout all that time that everybody who was prosecuted deserves the best of representation. in this case, they speak against a nominee on one single case, mumia abu-jamal's appeal from
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the death of officer daniel faulkner. i condemn that murder. but just as the british in the boston massacre deserved representation and got it from john adams, just as the man who murdered a number of people, including a couple of teenagers, deserve representation from john roberts, a republican who is now chief justice of the u.s. supreme court, it -- he deserved representation. we can all mourn officer faulkner who served bravely to protect our community, and he defended our system of justice and our constitution. we are trying to defend it, too. you know, i might say that some of my friends who stand here in righteous indignation against him, saying they are standing up for law enforcement, well, i would point out that former
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senator ben nighthorse campbell and i began a bulletproof vest program which has bought bulletproof vests for officers all over this country and is up for reauthorization. it has saved the lives of police officers. not a single republican has joined me in the effort to reauthorize what was a bipartisan piece of legislation that actually saves the lives of police officers, but boy, they will come down here and wax eloquently and misleadingly against this good nominee. you listen to them or you listen to fox news, you might think the nominee himself is a criminal. of course he's not. he's -- his attacks launched against this nominee demonstrate a fundamental misunderstanding of the role of a lawyer and the oath all police officers swear
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to serve and protect. first they said that he made the decision to take on be a but jammal's case. that's simply not accurate. it was made by the former president of the l.d.f. the nominee that we are concerned with today has testified under oath it was not his decision. but once the decision was made and he was appointed to do it, he had a duty as an officer of the court to do his best to represent his client, no matter how untasteful or unpopular. his role was limited to two supreme court briefs and one third circuit brief. to say anything else is misleading and the attacks seem very similar to those made against thurgood marshall when he was nominated to the second circuit court of appeals. so you know we don't criticize john adams, we don't criticize
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john roberts. as chief justice roberts said you only identify the views of the lawyer and the views on behalf of the client. that's critical to the fair administration of justice. i agree with john adams and i agree with what john roberts did. i agree with what debo did, too. i have spoken out against the insulting attempts to defame the nominees of democratic and republican presidents, and i do so again. debo is one of the nation's leading civil rights lawyers. those who have worked with him cannot recognize the caricature that some are trying to paint. i have seen him testify before a crowded city hearing room. i have heard him quietly give counsel in a private meeting room. i know him to be a thoughtful, respectful and careful person. a good family man, a good husband and father. you know, i regret these attacks i have been here 40 years.
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i don't know if i have ever heard a time in those 40 years when a person was so misrepresented as the attacks against him. and i hope now some of those tack particulars for law enforcement would do things like join on the bulletproof vest bill and others they refuse to. i see the majority leader. i ask consent that the majority leader have whatever time he needs.
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mr. reid: the majority leader. mr. reid: we ask unanimous consent that -- it's been approved by senator mcconnell and by me. i ask consent that these requests be agreed to, printed in the record. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. reid: madam president, debo adegbile was the president's nominee to lead the civil rights division at the department of justice. he's a man who renews my faith in the american dream. he's the son of irish and nigerian immigrants. to say he grew up in poverty is an understatement. there were times when he and his mom, -- he was raised mostly by a single mom -- were homeless. despite these challenges, he worked his way through the educational system and to the top of the legal profession. he graduated from prestigious new york university law school.
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he argued two of the most important civil rights cases of his generation before the united states supreme court. he has received numerous awards for his legal prowess and his commitment to civil rights. he's one of the nation's foremost civil rights attorneys. he is eminently qualified to lead the office and enforces federal laws prohibiting every time of discrimination including discrimination in voting practices. his job and the job of that person who is in the civil rights division is to do everything they can do to make sure people have the opportunity to vote. we know what's happened around the country. we know how republican governors and other republican officials have done everything they can to stop voting. early voting they eliminate or they shorten the time period. they take away voting places that make it easier for people to vote. this is an important position,
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and the person that's best qualified to do that is going to have a vote in just a few minutes. despite all this nominee has achieved, republicans have not given this man a fair shot at confirmation. things he did not do, he did not step foot into a courtroom representing that violent murder in philadelphia that occurred in 1981 when he was 13 years old. and although the condemned man was undoubtedly a very bad man -- as i understand the facts, 3:00, 3:30 in the morning, a cab is stopped. the murderer's brother is in the
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cab. just by coincidence. there was a lot of problems in philadelphia at the time. the murderer gets out of the car and shoots the police officer who viciously and wantonly and for no reason in the head. terrible murder. he was a bad, bad man who was convicted of a heinous crime and given the death sentence. now, madam president, when the nominee got into this case, the murder had taken place 25 years earlier. five years before he got into the case, the death penalty had already been overturned, was already gone and where did the death penalty overturn come from? that's pretty interesting. it came from, madam president,
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a reagan appointee, and then circuit court affirmed what the district court had done. they got rid of the death penalty. and that district court decision was upheld by president bush's appointees. i'm sorry, the district court opinion was issued by a -- the first president bush, h.w. bush and the third circuit court decision that upheld it was composed of two reagan appointees, including one of the most jailous jurists of all time, john sriica. it's interesting. a person who wrote an op-ed piece in "the wall street journal" not long ago who was the district attorney chose not
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to receipt the death penalty even though he's writing op-ed pieces about what a bad guy a man who had nothing to do with the case. the defendant in 2011 was resentenced to life in prison without parole, the death penalty was gone. but how can we engage in guilt by association? i repeat, the nominee did not step into a courtroom, a courtroom, for the murderer. he did not write one word in any brief for the murderer, not one. he worked at the naacp and oversaw the litigation and signed the brief third down the road. he had nothing to do with the appeal as far as arguing it. even the philadelphia inquirer,
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the hometown newspaper, where this murder took place, the hometown newspaper of the police officer who was so tragically slain, said -- and i quote -- "it would be hard to find a better candidate for the position." and i agree with that. to argue that the nominee, one of the country's most foremost legal scholars especially when it comes to civil rights should be disqualified because he participated in these appeals is an affront to what it means to live in america. this country allows every convict to exhaustively appeal a verdict even when all the prior evidence appears to have assured his guilt" -- close quote. i've met with this man, madam president. on several occasions. i spent the morning in my office with him. he's a fine man. what a story of the american dream. he's devoted his life to public service.
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he could be like a lot of other lawyers, nothing wrong with that, go out and see how much money he could make but he decided not to do that. he believes in public service. he's married, has two beautiful girls. but i'm afraid he's treated by the republicans like kind of -- jeh johnson, todd jones, circuit court judge watkins. they've distorted this man's good name in an attempt to score points politically and block confirmation of a faithful defender of voting rights which the republicans do everything they can to not protect. they want fewer voting people,
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they don't want people to vote. and they especially don't want poor people to vote. the naacp, we know their record. so much has changed in america today because of their legal defense fund. thurgood marshall is the most famous of all but there have been great lawyers who have been part of that program. the organization stands for the constitutional right of every american to a fair trial regardless of the nature of their crime or the content or their daycare. i think that's what the legal profession is all about. that's what i thought it was about when i practiced law. and represented some really bad people. and i did it a lot of time for no pay. the naacp also advanced the cause of civic engagement,
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economic opportunity, education, health care, freedom from discrimination and that's for all americans. they're not out representing just african-americans. all americans. but there's no question mr. adegbile actually specializes in voting rights issues. he has worked his years at the naacp and every other thing he's done to safeguard the right of every american to cast a ballot without discrimination or intimidation and that's how the legal defense fund got involved in this case. he did not step into a courtroom, he didn't write one single word of any brief. he didn't make the decision to represent the philadelphia defendant, this really bad guy nor did he appear in court or offer a brief or write a word in this case. they've attempted to paint him as sympathetic to the convict. the man is still in jail.
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that's where he should be. the truth is, lawyers -- not all of them but lawyers represent unpopular clients at some point in their causes. and in their careers. john roberts. he's not known as a great trial lawyer, but he's known as a great lawyer. chief justice roberts provided pro bono assistance, for example, to the defense of a prisoner on florida's death row who was convicted of killing eight people. that was not brought up during his confirmation hearing by us. because he had a job to do. and as he said, advocacy on behalf of a clienlt is not about overturning the rule of law but vindicating the rule of law. this nominee has strong support support, groups all over america. i can't express strongly enough what a fine man he is.
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the president of the american bar association wrote the judiciary committee and here's what he said to chairman leahy and other members of the committee. he was alarmed, -- i quote -- "about opposition to this nomination based solely on his efforts to protect the fundamental right of an unpopular client." that's all it's about. this murderer was a bad guy. but he's entitled to a lawyer. i repeat for the fourth time, this nominee did not step into a courtroom for this guy, he didn't write a word of any brief. he's constantly this nominee stood for the constitutional right as well as americans' fundamental right to participate in our democracy. he's exceptionally qualified for the job for which he's nominated. opponents have used his defense of the constitution as a
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political weapon against him. he deserves an affirmative vote. to be judged on the body of his work and admirable quality of his character. i think that's what we did here. it's a real shame, madam president, that people are questioning whether or not he deserves this vote. so, madam president, i ask unanimous consent that following the cloture vote on the hernandez nomination the senate recess until 2:15 for the weekly caucus meetings, at 2:15 the senate proceed to legislative session and a period of morning business until 3:00 p.m. with senators permitted to speak therein for ten minutes each. the senate proceed to legislative session and a period of morning business until 3:30 with senators permitted to speak therein for ten minutes each until 3 0bg, the senate resume executive session and the consideration of the hernandez with the time until 4:00 p.m. equally divided between the chairman and ranking member of the judiciary committee, at 4:30 all postcloture time be yielded back on the hernandez
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nomination and the senate proceed to vote on the confirmation of the hernandez nomination. upon digs dits position of the hernandez nomination, the senate the senate proceed to the votes on the remaining motions to invoke cloture which were filed thursday, february 27 on 569, 575, and 636. if cloture is invoked on any of the nominees with the exception of gottemoeller, all postcloture time will be yielded back and the senate proceed to vote, two minutes equally divided in the usual form prior to each cloture, all after the first vote be 10 minutes and is there objection to that? the presiding officer: is there objection? without objection. mr. reid: madam president, i would close by saying i sure hope we get enough votes for this good man. if we don't, maybe it's the time that america had a good discussion on civil rights. if this man who is defending the right of the constitution, and
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that's what he's doing, does the constitution mean anything? does a mans who who has had nothing to do with a case of a violent murderer be used as a scapegoat for republicans trying to stop people from voting? i hope not. we will have a discussion if this good man doesn't have the votes here. we'll have a discussion on civil rights and i think he will have a lot to do with the direction the votes -- the discussion will take. the presiding officer: the clerk will report the motion to invoke cloture to invoke cloture. the clerk: we the diswriend senators in accordance with the standing rules of the senate hereby move to bring to a close the debate on the nomination of debo adegbile to be assistant attorney general signed by 17 senators. the presiding officer: the mandatory quorum has been waived. the question is it the sense of
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the sense of the senate that debate on the nomination of debo p. adegbile be brought to a close. the yeas and nays are mandatory under the rule. the clerk will call the roll. vote:
11:59am
vote:
12:00pm

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